Having a difficult subcontractor on the jobsite can be problematic for an entire construction project. The mistakes they make and goals they don’t achieve can create a ripple effect that negatively impacts the general contractor, sub-subcontractors, and suppliers on a jobsite. It takes a steady hand to deal with a difficult subcontractor and see a project through to its end. In this two-part article, Ft. Myers construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law will help you anticipate and deal with a difficult subcontractor.
The Need for a Solid Contract
Preparing for a difficult subcontractor begins before work has even begun on a project – with a good contract. Your contract should include provisions that outline your right to suspend a subcontractor or terminate the contract in the event that a subcontractor does not meet their obligations.
In addition to circumstantial provisions, your contract should outline what to do if further action, such as legal action, is needed. In Florida, owners are required to give a pre-suit notice and a right to cure a construction defect before legal action can be taken. Only when the defect is not fixed within this timeframe can the work be supplemented to another contractor. A Ft. Myers construction attorney can assist you with the drafting and inclusion of the above provisions in your construction contract.
Performance Bonds and Default Insurance
There are additional resources available to protect yourself in the event of a difficult subcontractor. One of these is a subcontractor performance bond, an agreement in which a third-party takes responsibility in the event that a subcontractor fails to meet the terms of the contract. This agreement ensures the completion of a project and that sub-subcontractors and suppliers receive payment.
Subcontractor default insurance places responsibility on the general contractor. In the event of subcontractor default, the general contractor will file a claim with the insurance company to cover the costs of completing the subcontractors work. Without either of the above resources, you may be left with few options when dealing with a subcontractor that does not complete work to your satisfaction.
For more on how to deal with a difficult subcontractor, please read part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.